Letter Carriers’ annual food drive set for Saturday, May 11

  • Monday, May 13, 2013

The National Association of Mail Carriers will hold its annual food drive, Stamp Out Hunger, on Saturday, May 11. PHOTO PROVIDED

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) will conduct its 21st annual food drive to combat hunger on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes.

It is the nation’s largest single-day food drive, and is held annually on the second Saturday in May in 10,000 cities and towns in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam.

Last year, letter carriers collected 70.7 million pounds of food donations along their postal routes, bringing the total to 1.2 billion pounds for the NALC’s food drive, which began in 1992.

On Saturday, May 11, the nation’s 175,000 letter carriers will collect the donations residents leave near their mail boxes, as they deliver mail.

All citizens need do is to place a box or can of non-perishable food next to their mailbox before their letter carrier delivers mail every second Saturday in May. The carrier will do all the rest. The food is taken back to a postal station, sorted, and then delivered to an area food bank or pantry.

With more than 50 million people facing hunger every day in America, including nearly 17 million children, this drive is one way people can help those right in their own city or town who need help.

People are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable foods, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, canned meats and fish, pasta, rice or cereal next to their mailbox before the regular mail delivery on Saturday. Carriers will bring the food to local food banks, pantries or shelters, including many affiliated with Feeding America, a national partner in the drive.

Assisting 1,400 local NALC branches will be rural letter carriers and other postal employees, plus members of other unions and civic volunteers. Other national partners are Campbell Soup Co., AARP, Valpak Direct Marketing Systems, Valassis/Red Plum, the U.S. Postal Service, United Way Worldwide, the AFL-CIO, Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. GLS Companies, Source Direct Plastics and the Publix grocery store chain.

AARP is providing 15 million bags, Campbell is donating 75 million postcards to mail to postal customers to remind them of the drive along with one million pounds of food and one million bags, Valassis/Red Plum and Valpak are each devoting tens of millions of their mailings to encouraging food donations, and Publix grocery chain and IP paper are each donating bags in certain parts of the country.

People who have questions should, contact their local post office, or go to http://www.helpstampouthunger.com/, www.facebook.com/StampOutHunger.

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